PS Audio Perfectwave DAC MKII and Emerald Physics 100.2SE amplifier pairing review out now!

After 24 revisions, and 3 speaker changes to make sure the results I had were the best and provided a clear improvement, the review of a pairing of components, not just one, is out now! It’s probably not the most ideal thing to do, but I really didn’t want the bottleneck for a $6195 (MSRP) DAC to be the $1000 (MSRP) receiver that I had. Plus my dad lent me the Emerald Physics 100.2SE that was collecting a little dust because of his current projects, so that’s why that is review is more of a pair review, since I actually really liked it, if you have read. Anyway, despite the Perfectwave DAC MKII given back before the publishing of that review, I had already written and knew what I had wanted to write beforehand, so just know that it wasn’t just for any reason I wrote the last part of the review.

Speaking of the several speakers changes, that story, which is specially reserved until now, as a behind the scenes special for this announcement, is because I still have in my possession, the NHT SB1s and my Sony SS-K10ED, despite them being already ousted by the Rocket RS250 when I had gotten to keep those. I knew to provide the best “synergy” about the review of changing 2 components, that I had to make sure the speakers themselves as well were right for the components. If you had seen where the Rocket RS250s were placed, I just placed the NHT SB1s on top of the Rockets and listened to them standing up to be accurate to placing, and then replaced the NHT with the Sony and did the same to find interesting results. It was actually a close battle between the Rocket RS250s and the Sony SS-K10ED. Not very surprising as their MSRP is very close between them. Somehow the PS Audio with the Emerald Physics didn’t really fit as well with the SB1, but it presented a very very nice instrumentation realism. Imaging was frankly the weakest among the three, but transparency was superb. The Sony came second, but was a little harsher than I’d like for certain songs, but presented an overall bump in sound from the SB1s, and presented a very nice extended, large soundstage. The instrumentation recognition score for me was lowest for the Sony with that configuration. Background instruments sometimes were a little weak and off comparatively. The RS250 landed nicely in the middle of the SB1 and the SS-K10ED in terms of sound characteristics, but is overall much more pleasant to listen to, sacrificing a little transparency in comparison, which have been cited as their flaw in other reviews, but overall realism, sound-stage, and imaging characteristics suited my liking the best, so I kept them as my main listening speakers for the review. And this, is how I went through 3 speakers within the review process of the Perfectwave DAC and the 100.2SE amplifier review. It was a bit time consuming to make sure that they didn’t need further break-in after being left alone for some time, but it was interesting to know each still has their strengths with such great components, and that it actually came down to personal taste for my choice in the review.

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